A new report from the National Hearing Loss Association says buying hearing aid is like buying a new pair of jeans: it’s expensive and potentially risky.
The report warns that consumers buying hearing assist equipment on the internet may not be able to be sure that the products they are buying meet FDA standards and are safe for their hearing.
For instance, some of the products that are being advertised as hearing aid may not meet FDA regulations for “binaural implants” because they use headphones, or speakers, rather than the hearing aid’s own resonator.
“Binaural” sounds a bit like a squealing, squeaky toy that is designed to mimic the sound of a human voice.
But they are not a real device, and it is not recommended for adults to wear them, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
As the hearing aids industry grows, so too does the risk of hearing loss.
Last year, the FDA banned some manufacturers from selling hearing aids that could be used for implants or for other purposes that might harm the hearing.
But hearing aids are a relatively new category of product and they are subject to different standards than the devices they replace.
Read more about hearing aids.